Remembering the 60s

I came of age in the early 60’s, a time very much like this in some ways, very different in others. We built a peace movement, opposed an unpopular war, concerned ourselves with ecology, concerned ourselves with corruption in Washington and impeaching a crooked president. The issues were similar. The times were very different.

The 60’s was the time of the generation gap. Our slogan was “Don’t trust anyone over 30”. Our theme song was Bob Dylan’s “The times they are a’changing”. A massive change of consciousness took place, as we got an astronaut’s, God’s-eye view of our small and fragile planet. As young people, we were clear that war is obsolete, that all peoples must work together to solve global problems.

We took lots of acid, and mescaline and peyote, mind-expanding drugs rather than the mind-numbing drugs of today. We embraced many teachers- swamis flocked to the US, Tibetan rinpoches, Zen monks. We turned to Native American medicine men for guidance.

Martin Luther King, Jr, following Gandhi and Jesus, taught us about nonviolent direct action, and inspired us to overcome the color bar which has divided the US since the beginning, when black slavery was the norm.
In the 60’s, blacks and whites marched together, picketed together, put their lives on the line together. Many believed it was the time of the Second Coming, and that Christ-Consciousness was pervading the planet.

Then King was assassinated, along with Bobby Kennedy, and of course John F., and the old ways of corporate capitalism reasserted themselves. In the 70’s, the revolution of consciousness became perverted, into Jonestown and the Symbionese Liberation Army (kidnappers of Patty Hearst), and young people put on suits and bought snowmobiles.

Meanwhile, also in the 70s, Pat Robertson and the corporadoes started the “Christian” Coalition, designed to subvert the Christ consciousness and liberation theology of the 60’s into the dark, demonic rapture cult. Their long-term planning has led to the Pharasaic reign of the satanist Bush.

But those of us who grew up in the 60’s have not forgotten. Now, as elders, we have led a revitalized peace movement, and are working again toward universal consciousness, love consciousness, using the wonderful new tool God has given us, the internet.

Many teachers are still with us. Leonard Peltier writes us inspiring messages from the Federal prison where he has languished for 30 years. Arvol Looking Horse, Thomas Banyaca and many other holy Native Americans have good advice for us, if we would only listen. The Dalai Lama is actively showing us how to maintain tranquillity and hope in the midst of devastation. Nelson Mandela knows how to transform a society.

Have we forgotten how to look for teachers? Are we so arrogant that we think we know everything? Now, more than ever, as the world crisis grows graver, we need all the help we can get. It’s time to open up and accept guidance.

Isaiah 30: 20-21

No longer will your Teacher hide himself,
but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,
While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears:
“This is the way; walk in it,
when you would turn to the right or to the left.

CAROL WOLMAN, MD is a psychiatrist and antiwar activist. She can be reached at: